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GMAT - Critical Reasoning Warm-up Exercises #01: ANSWERS


 

Answers:

Critical Reasoning Warm-ups #01

These are warm-ups for people who are somewhat familiar with critical reasoning questions. These questions are a good way to start your brain thinking before you answer the real questions.

Each question is a simplified version of a real critical reasoning question. Remember, we have used simple language in these questions so that you can focus on the logic of the questions rather than on the vocab and complex sentence structures. However, on the real test, the language and vocab will be much harder.

Exercises

Read the question stem for each question and then answer the questions about them.

 

#

Simplified Question Stems

1.

The best movie showing in the US right now is Mission Ridiculous, Part XXIV--it has been in the #1 position for three weeks.

  • How can we weaken this argument?

We could show that a popular movie is not necessarily a good movie. In other words, just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good.

  • How can we strengthen this argument?

We could show that a popular movie is always a good movie. In other words, there is a direct relationship between popularity and quality (probably not true in this case).

 

2.

All mammals have hair. Therefore, elephants have hair.

  • If so, what is the "missing step," or "hidden assumption."

An elephant is a mammal.

 

3.

Lucy Magic has recently suggested that all people should go to school for at least 14 years. However, this argument is clearly wrong since Lucy Magic only went to school for four years.

  • How could we weaken this argument?

Lucy Magic's personal background is not related to her suggestion.

  • How could we strengthen this argument?

Lucy Magic's personal background is related to her suggestion.

 

4.

To raise your test scores, you should study and practice the test a lot. However, Mike Magic used this strategy and he did not get the score that he wanted. Therefore, this strategy is not helpful.

  • How could we weaken this argument?

Mike Magic's results will not be the same as the results of other people.

  • How could we strengthen this argument?

Mike Magic's results will be the same as the results of other people.

 

5.

It is a commonly known fact that most people do not pay for street parking for all the time that they are parked--how many times have you walked down the street and seen cars parked with expired meters? We can therefore conclude that the system of using parking meters is useless.

  • How could we weaken this argument?

Essentially less than 100% does not equal 0%; in other words, just because a parking meter is not 100% effective, it doesn't mean that it is 0% effective.

  • How could we strengthen this argument?

We would have to show that somehow we need to have 100% efficiency in order for something to be useful.

 

6.

Frozen water is less dense than liquid water. Therefore, frozen water will float in liquid water.

  • What is the "missing step," or "hidden assumption."

If we have two things and we put them together, the thing that is less dense will float in the thing that is more dense.

 

7.

President Magic has recently suggested adding fluoride to all public water sources. This is obviously a bad idea since many of the former communist countries also added fluoride to all their public water sources.

  • How could we weaken this argument?

Again, the background of the former communist countries has no relationship with how well the plan will work.

  • How could we strengthen this argument?

Again, the background of the former communist countries does have a relationship with how well the plan will work.

 

8.

Two hours ago I had a splitting headache, so I took six Maqikol tablets. I still have a headache. Therefore, Magikol is a useless medicine.

  • How could we weaken this argument?

This one is similar to #4. Essentially, the result in this case might not be the result in another case.

  • How could we strengthen this argument?

Essentially, the result in this case will be the result in another case.

 

9.

In an attempt to increase sales, Magic Co, Ltd. implemented a new customer service policy that required all sales representatives to address all prospective clients by name. Within six months, sales had risen 15%. The new policy was therefore a success.

  • How could we weaken this argument?

We would have to show that the new policies in fact had no effect on the sales. We could do this by showing another cause. For example, we could show that a new office building opened nearby and there were many more prospective customers.

  • How could we strengthen this argument?

We would have to show that there was no other reason for sales to increase; in other words, nothing else changed, and the only possible cause is that the new policy was effective.

 

10.

It is obvious that Einstein could not have formulated the theory of relativity. It is a common fact that Einstein did not receive a passing grade in math class as a child.

  • What is the "missing step" or "hidden assumption" in this argument?

People who fail math class cannot formulate this kind of theory.

  • How could we weaken this argument?

We should show that failing a class does not necessarily mean that a person could not make a new theory.

  • How could we strengthen this argument?

We should show that a person cannot make a new theory if s/he cannot pass math class.

 

 
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